Given the horrible bushfires, a scary international virus and other disturbing issues facing us, an ACT chief counselling psychologist would, as Ian Warden suggests, definitely represent a first step in settling the nerves of anxious ACT citizens ("Orange monster comes knocking", Panorama, February 1, p2). But let's go the full distance and have the courage to touch base with reality. The ACT government should appoint a chief philosopher to better explain what's going on.
This is the type of courageous move that would ease ACT citizens' nerves, providing more clarification on banes of their existence in this burg and the universe in general.
A chief philosopher may be able to better expand on issues such as bushfires, freezing winters and closer-to-home issues like why light rail seats are cheap, uncomfortable tin that don't even flip backwards and forwards, and how the ACT government made truckloads of money from a supposedly "budget neutral" long term rates and stamp duty policy change.
Even broader social issues, like why on hot days with temperatures over 40 degrees more people appear to pack onto the stinking hot steam rooms at the public pools, would fit beautifully into the agenda.
I feel sure a philosophical response would challenge the validity of any response provided by the ACT Chief Minister.
What a relief for anxious residents such a forward looking decision would represent.
Wayne Grant, Swinger Hill
Sincerely, and regularly, yours
Further to Ian Warden's article "Canberra's smog has silver lining" (February 2, p 15), I would agree that there are a few regular contributors to the letters page who align perfectly with his descriptions therein. Namely, that to be eligible one has to be 84 and over, and that miserabilists dominate - to use Warden's words.
One of the regulars gives me the impression that he is sitting, head in hands, waiting for the end of the world, whilst a couple of others (one of whom did reveal in recent times that he was 84) want to appear knowledgeable on every subject under the sun and must spend nearly all day, every day researching Google to provide material for their seemingly never-ending supply of letters. It would seem that they have nothing better to do with their time!
Bob McDonald, Weetangera
What's in a slogan?
Yet another slogan from Prime Minister Scott Morrison: "The Black Summer". Does he not remember that bushfires began in Queensland in late July and moved into northern NSW in spring where, by early November more than 1.6 million hectares had been burnt, 6 people killed and 600 homes gone?
It is disturbing that our prime minister seems to have forgotten these awful facts. The reality that we may face, unless we get substantial rain, is the probability that bushfires will continue into autumn. Currently more than 18 million hectares have burnt, not counting the active fires we are experiencing here in Canberra. Thirty people have been killed, nearly 2800 homes destroyed, and an estimated 1 billion animals killed.
A more accurate description could be, "Megafires 2019-20".
Lucille Rogers, Kingston
Timely restrictions preferable
Many are worrying about the fires at the moment, but can we please point the finger at our water supplies. Combined, only about 44.7 per cent of our total water capacity is left. This is 10 per cent less that what we had in mid-November. I understand the urgency of the bushfire situation, but the Orroral Valley fire is passing Corin dam at the present time, which will most likely contaminate the remaining water in the dam, if it isn't contaminated already. The fire might actually reach as far as Bendora dam, and contaminate the water there as well.
So where are our water restrictions? I, and surely many others as well, would prefer more relaxed restrictions on our water now, instead of waiting until there is so little water that we have to restrict anything and everything to save ourselves. I think we are getting to the point where we need to act urgently on our water supplies, especially if we continue to use some on the fire, and if the fire renders some undrinkable. Hopefully the next few days help with both the fires and the water supplies. There may be no serious restrictions now, but next time you use lots of water, consider saving some, because a little bit can go a long way.
Andrew Wilson, Chapman
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to The Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (suburb only published).
To send a letter via the online form, click or touch here.